Frequently Asked Questions

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What is The Alternative®?

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THE ALTERNATIVE® is a blunt force impact device.  It was designed to fill the void in lethal situations, which until now could only be addressed with a firearm.

How does it work?

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When mounted to an officer’s firearm and deployed, the projectile at the end of the firearm acts like a bullet capture device. The bullet and projectile instantly become one unit and the kinetic energy of the bullet is simultaneously transferred to the projectile which propels the projectile towards the target.

Does it slow the bullet down?

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It does, the projectile with the embedded bullet, slows the speed of a bullet to 20% of the speed of a normal bullet and once you decrease the velocity of the bullet, it allows the projectile to impact the threat with non-penetrating energy. The result is significantly less internal injury to the body than a conventional bullet. Depending on the type of ammunition used, the projectile still travels at approximately 250 - 300 feet per second.

When would a law enforcement officer use this device?

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When an officer encounters a situation or receives a radio call where a potential suspect does not have a gun, but perhaps has another type of dangerous weapon, such as knife, broken bottle, machete, spear or cane. Once an officer assesses the situation and determines that the suspect does not have a gun, but feels the needs to draw their firearm, in accordance with their department’s procedures and protocol in this type of situation, to gain the upper hand in dealing with this suspect, if the officer believes that the suspect may not put the officer or anyone in the public in immediate danger, the officer could then mount THE ALTERNATIVE® on their weapon for use if necessary.

Should the Alternative® be used for crowd control purposes?

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We absolutely do not recommend deploying THE ALTERNATIVE® for crowd control purposes. Based on our training, the Alternative is only to be utilized as a last resort, less-lethal option, where a non-compliant subject has a weapon other than a gun and is presenting a lethal threat.

What type of firearm does the Alternative® work with?

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The most common service weapon used in police departments across the country is the Glock (17/19) with 9mm ammunition, so this is the primary firearm that THE ALTERNATIVE® has been developed for. However, the docking device can be manufactured for most other firearms if warranted by significant demand.

What is the Alternative® made of?

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THE ALTERNATIVE® is made of a specialized alloy that captures the bullet through friction, heat, and immense pressure. The cavity inside is designed to capture a live round fired from a firearm using manufacturer’s approved factory ammunition.

Where does the officer keep the Alternative®?

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We have designed a lightweight holster that attaches to an officer’s duty belt. An officer can quickly unsnap the holster, remove THE ALTERNATIVE® and mount it on their firearm within a couple of seconds, all the while never removing their eyes from the suspect.

What happens to the firearm when the officer fires the Alternative® at the suspect?

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The docking unit will automatically eject from the firearm, returning it to its normal function as it simultaneously cycles in a new round for follow up shots if necessary.

What happens to the suspect when he is hit by the Alternative’s projectile?

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Comprehensive and independent ballistics tests were conducted by NTS and a full report, which assesses the human effects of the projectile's impact, is available upon request.

How accurate is the Alternative®?

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THE ALTERNATIVE® was precision tested at 21 ft. and 32 ft., which resulted in extreme accuracy, and a copy of those test results are available upon request. The device is as accurate as the officer shooting it.

What is the suggested distance for its use?

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For officer safety, we recommend a minimum distance of 21 ft., but the device can be used with exceptional accuracy up to 40 ft.

What happens if the officer misses the target/suspect?

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The officer’s firearm will have returned to its full operating capability and can be used for follow up lethal force if mandated and within their department’s use of force policy.

Will the Alternative® penetrate the suspect like a bullet?

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THE ALTERNATIVE® has been fully tested by an independent third party. The results show less than a 2% chance of penetration. A copy of that report is available should anyone want to review it.

Can you reuse it once it has been fired?

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The unit is a single-fire device and can not be reused once it's been fired.

Can you reuse it if it was never fired?

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Yes, as easily as it goes on the firearm it can be removed and returned to its holster.

Why is the docking device orange in color?

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So that any other officer arriving at the scene will immediately know that the officer, who has their weapon drawn, has mounted THE ALTERNATIVE® on his firearm. Additionally, an officer (per our training course), if time allows, can shout “Less-Lethal” letting any other officers know that he is deploying a less-lethal device, so they do not follow up with additional fire, unless necessary.

Is there a way to identify the projectile when an officer fires the Alternative®?

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Yes, each individual projectile has its own serial number. When it has been given to an officer, the department should/must record the serial number assigned to that officer.

What is the shelf-life of the Alternative®? 

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Easily 7 - 10 years. The plastic or the projectile will not weaken overtime.

When mounting the Alternative® on an officer’s firearm, does it block or affect the officer’s sight line?

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The projectile is specifically designed and shaped at the top to not interfere in any way with the officer’s line of sight when aiming their firearm at a suspect.

Is there special training required?

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Yes, we have a training program to train officers and another to train a “trainer” who in turn can train the officers. There are two critical training items; learning to safely remove THE ALTERNATIVE® from the holster and mounting it on the gun and then fully understanding that THE ALTERNATIVE® does not impact or affect the feel of the weapon when it is fired. Additionally, it is important that an officer in training fires the Alternative® to have confidence in its accuracy.

How many rounds should an officer fire in training?

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After your department’s training staff is fully trained, they can help to determine how many units should be used/fired during training.

Does an officer need to be tested or retrained annually?

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It is our recommendation that all officers using THE ALTERNATIVE® should be retested and should qualify every 6 months by firing the single unit they have been carrying in their holster and reviewing the training protocols. Then, an officer should be issued a new one, with the department recording its serial number once again.

Many departments train their officers to fire a minimum of two shots when firing their weapon. How can we train our officers to use just one when using The Alternative®?

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This is an important question and one we are asked all the time. The answer is in the training. When an officer elects to unholster THE ALTERNATIVE® and mount it on their weapon, they are making a conscious decision to try to use a less-lethal option in the situation they are facing or engaged in at that moment. We believe that this conscious decision combined with our training program is sufficient in overriding previous training protocols that require multiple 'live' rods when faced with a lethal situation. Training is the key to its safe use.

Why not simply use a Taser, Stun Gun, Bean Bag, or any of the other less-lethal devices on the market?

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Because generally, when an officer arrives on the scene, they do not have these other less-lethal devices readily available as they may be in their patrol car or in the trunk of their patrol vehicle, and in some instances the officer would have to be in close proximity for the device to be effective which could potentially put the officer in danger. As an officer steps out of their vehicle, they already have THE ALTERNATIVE® attached to their duty belt. Within seconds, an officer can utilize THE ALTERNATIVE® without having to return to their patrol car or removing their eyes from the suspect.

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